The Giant Frog Fish is part of the Antennaridae family, which includes 47 species of fish belonging to the class of osteites (bony fishes) and to the order of the lofiformes, widespread in all the tropical and subtropical seas of the world, including the Maldives and especially the island of Dhiggiri. The fish of this species have a stocky and little hydrodynamic body, almost spherical, with high forehead, large mouth facing upwards and prominent pectoral fins, almost in the shape of limbs, which they use to move between rocks and corals. They have very few swimming abilities but great camouflage skills, capable of showing off very bright or dull colors such as corals or rocks of the seabed that host them. The Giant Frogfish is extremely specialized in attracting prey by using a bait formed by the first ray of the dorsal fin, called illicio, which looks like a mobile peduncle and also acts as an excellent system for distinguishing the various species. The specimens are very voracious, not disdaining cannibalism, and feed on other fish that they catch by moving the bait, while they remain immobile and perfectly camouflaged in the environment that hosts them.
How to take a photo of the Giant Frogfish in the best way? Let Marco Carè, Diver and photographer of the Nakai Group explain it to us.
“The shade of the Giant Frogfish livery is homogeneous and not gaudy, so the trick to being able to create a photo worthy of note is to be able to find contrasting environmental colors to bring out the subject. Another technique is to create fun backlighting to back light the transparent membrane of its gigantic mouth. Photographing the Giant Frogfish in a creative form rather than in a non-trivial or merely documentary way is not easy because its dimensions do not fall within the parameters of Macro photography. Furthermore, its perfect mimicry requires a lot of effort by the underwater photographer in trying to create an understandable photograph of the subject even to a user who has never seen a fish of such a given feature. The eye, as in many Pisces, has an almost perfect camouflage, causing the guidelines of the head to be lost.
In this black and white photo I tried to create the close-up of the face of the Giant Frogfish, emphasizing its face and the large size of its mouth, ready to dilate and swallow any living form that may pass in front of it “.